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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

122               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

conscious of it, as a real mark of inferiority. Let us suppose, for
example, that we want to button a jacket! After having more or
less got the button through, we begin to thrust the thumb through
the button-hole, and to grab at the opposite side in search of the
button, ignorant of how the button should be directed to put it
in place. On the other hand, what is necessary to do first of all
is to bring the two edges of the jacket close together and then to ,
direct the button into the line of the hole and push it through,
finally straightening it up. This is in fact how it is done by
servants and tailors when they are dressing their masters or cus-
tomers. The garments are then kept uninjured for a long time,
whereas by the other method three or four buttonings put them
out of shape and deprive the garment of its elegant fresh look.
By similar stupid procedure we spoil locks, by putting the keys
into them blindly, and mixing up the two successive motions by
turning the key and pulling the door at the same time. Often we
pull the door half shut with the key even when it is not intended
for that purpose, as is indicated by the more or less handsome
door-handles. In the same way we ruin our best books as we turn
over the leaves, because our movements are not adapted to the
purposes. The results of the wrong treatment given to objects
reflect back on ourselves, for our movements become habitually
so rough and clumsy that the harmony of the body is spoilt. If
we observe the movements of an aristocrat, of one of those people
spoken of as * distinguished/ we find that the distinction is due
to their actions being carried out in the proper consecutive order.
This is just "the kind of person who moves easily and gracefully.

ECONOMY OF MOVEMENT

The analysis of movement is bound up with economy of move-
ment; to perform no movement unnecessary for the purpose is-
really the highest degree of perfection. There follow as a conse-
quence aesthetic movement? artistic attitudes. Greek jnovexnenti
aad those:which today resemble them most, like those in the